Pre-trial procedure - Midland Circuit
The Circuit Criminal Court
1. With a view to avoiding unnecessary delays in criminal proceedings, identifying cases in which pleas may be entered in advance of a trial date and to facilitate the commencement of trials in criminal proceedings in the Circuit Court at the time and date appointed, the practice referred to in this Direction will be introduced on a pilot basis in respect of all cases listed for trial in this circuit from the 1st day of January 2013.
2. A pre-trial questionnaire ('questionnaire') shall be completed and signed –
(1) by counsel and the solicitor for the prosecution in Form 1 annexed to this Direction,
(2) by counsel and the solicitor for the accused in Form 2 annexed to this Direction,
3. The completed questionnaires shall be returned to the Circuit Court Office for the county in which the proceedings are listed for trial and a copy served on the other side not later than one month before the date fixed for trial.
4. The solicitor and counsel for the prosecution and defence shall be obliged to consult with and obtain the necessary instructions from their respective clients for the purposes of completing fully the applicable questionnaire.
5. The effectiveness of the practice aforementioned will be reviewed after the 31st day of December 2013, in consultation with representatives of practitioners, the State Solicitor and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Dated this 6th day of November 2012
Anthony G. Hunt
Judge of the Circuit Court
for the above-mentioned Circuit